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Remodeling Contractors

Interior Lighting Tips – Task Lighting

Ever feel like there just is not enough light in a living room to sit down and comfortably read a good book or look over some business documents? Could you relax in an overly illuminated living room? Such thoughts come up when there is an imbalance between task lighting and ambient lighting. Understanding the difference between these two lighting types and using them effectively can help you bring harmony to the lighting in your home.
Basics of Task Lighting
You might be surprised to find out just how much of a role each room plays in the lives of its inhabitants. Rooms are often used for both work and relaxation. You may find yourself answering emails on the living room couch or playing a classical guitar piece in your bedroom. These activities contribute to and define the overall function of a room and typically require more than ambient lighting from overhead fixtures. That is when task lighting comes into play. Task lighting is fundamentally any lighting that helps to facilitate a particular visual task. In a residential setting, that job may be reading, writing, cooking, sewing, or even eating.
Task lighting can take on many forms, including desk lamps, track lighting, or fluorescent fixtures under cabinets. Efficiently distributing task lighting throughout a home requires carefully identifying the function of each room and choosing the right type of lighting.
Instead of going further into the theory of task lighting, why don’t we take a look at the rooms of a standard home and suggest some task lighting solutions for each one.
Bedroom
The bedroom is where you start and end your day. It functions as both a place for daily preparation and a quiet place of relaxation before turning in for the night. If you are like most people and enjoy reading or occasionally working in bed, you will most definitely need some task lighting. Though there are quite a few options available, one of the most practical solutions is to have a lamp on each side of the bed. Doing so allows one partner to read while the other sleeps. You may choose to place a table lamp on each nightstand or install wall lamps that will keep you from having to reach too far to turn the light on or off.
Bathroom
The most important aspect of a bathroom is the vanity, as it plays a large role in morning preparation. Most people make the mistake of placing a recessed ceiling fixture over the mirror or buying a vanity with built-in overhead lighting. But lighting from one side casts shadows on the face. The best way to balance vanity lighting and get rid of shadows is to place vertical fixtures on both sides of the mirror. The center of each fixture should be at eye level. You want the vanity to be very well lit. Use fixtures with dimmer controls if you are afraid of overdoing. In doing so you will ensure that any person who uses the vanity will be able to get the illumination he or she needs. This setup may not work for some vanities due to the layout of the bathroom. In that case, overhead lighting may be the best option available. Just remember that the goal is to evenly illuminate the face without shadows.
The shower is another key spot in the bathroom. A single recessed ceiling fixture will usually provide the lighting you need, but you may not need a dedicated fixture if the shower is open or has a glass door.
Living Room
Every living room should have a seat with a floor or desk lamp to accommodate reading and writing. You can make one lamp work for multiple seats by placing it on an end table connecting the sofa and another seat. The lamp should not be too bright, as the living room should still retain its relaxing atmosphere even when the lamp is turned on. The goal of lighting the living room is to create enough light to do the things you need without breaking the atmosphere that invites you to come kick back and relax.
Kitchen
The work that takes place in a kitchen is often intricate and requires carefully planned task lighting to achieve both maximum efficiency and pleasure. Lighting a kitchen effectively usually involves a combination of both ceiling fixtures and lighting under cabinets. Recessed spot lights are a great way to focus light on the key work surfaces of the kitchen. The one drawback is that recessed lighting tends to be more difficult to install than its alternatives. A more flexible option is track lighting with halogen bulbs. Track lighting is easier to install and is more versatile since the direction of each head can be individually adjusted. Extra lamps can also be added to a …

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Renovation Costs

Versatile Performance Flooring

A wooden dance floor is the choice of most dance studios, and for good reason. Seasons of durability and great looks are what keep these types of floors installed for dance purposes. In order to offer as many different types of dance classes at your studio and to increase revenue, you will need to think about how the performance flooring affects the type of dance being performed on it, and how certain types of flooring can enhance or hinder the dance.
All wood dance styles should be of the sprung dance floor type. What this means is that above the bottom sub floor rests a cushioning layer of product. It might be foam core, or other soft materials. Above this is placed the top wooden dance. This makes it possible to dance in a room that might not have sub flooring suitable for dance, such as concrete or other hard surfaces. A sprung wood dance floor provides the resilience that a dancer’s body needs when jumps are performed, as well as when percussive movements of the feet and legs upon the floor are performed. This type of sprung wooden dance helps to prevent tiny stress fractures and other stress injuries to the legs and joints from happening, making for a healthier dancer over time.
The type of wood used can also have an impact on the type of dance performed. For a good tap dance floor, you want a very live floor that offers a lot of sound naturally, without the dancers having to pound their feet hard on the floor to get any sound out of it. This is why hard woods such as maple are an excellent choice for a tap dance floor. Just the opposite is true for a ballet dance floor, where you would want the sound dampened rather than enhanced, so a softer wood would be preferable in this instance.
A ballet floor or a tap dance will often be finished with urethane, which is a coating used to protect the wood’s surface from damage. The top finish coating plays a role in speed, or slipperiness, of the floor’s surface. A tap dance will need a medium speed urethane finish. This helps the dancers to execute tap moves more easily, without the likelihood of twisting ankles due to too much traction on the floor’s surface. You can also use slow to medium urethane finishes for a ballet dance floor, but adjustments to the dance shoes will need to be made. You typically do not want a very slippery floor surface for a ballet dance floor, due to the lifts and jumping involved, which would be quite dangerous on a slick floor. The dancers would need to use rosin on the medium speed ballet dance, but could eliminate the rosin when working on pointe on the slow speed floor.
More information is available about ballet and tap dance floor choices from a manufacturer of sprung wood floors.…

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Home Contractors

Purchasing a Home Warranty – Important Things to Remember For Home Buyers

Purchasing a home is a very important investment especially for first-time home buyers who are new in the real estate industry. Making sure that you undergo legal and proper processes in buying your house is essentially important. One of the vital components you need to consider during home purchase is securing a home warranty. Home sellers and home buyers alike need to learn and understand the mechanics of home warranty in order to get the most out of it for their advantage.
What is home warranty?
It provides protection for new home owners against any maintenance or repair problems which may occur during the first year of occupancy. It is quite a nightmare for home owners to realize that even if they have just moved in, they are already dealing with various breaks or malfunctions in their new home. Repairs and fixtures certainly cover myriads of systems and items in the house, therefore to have a total peace of mind and worry-free living, it is a sound idea to invest on home warranty. This is an important notion to consider especially for first-time home buyers who basically do not have any home maintenance experience.
How much is it?
When purchasing home warranty, you need to prepare approximately $250 to $400 depending on your preferred coverage. Most companies offer home warranty with special discount rates and policies. The policy may expire or can be renewed since it is paid in advance for one year.
In buying a home warranty, make sure that you have substantial knowledge about it since most home warranties are mistaken with home insurance. Home warranty covers house repairs and replacements of appliances which are not functioning like refrigerator, stove and air conditioning among others. It also deals with roofing or plumbing issues inside the house. Home insurance on the other hand deals with protecting your house from fire or theft and is also liable for injuries incurred in your property or by a member of your family.
How does it work?
Here are some of the things you benefit from for purchasing one.
o Any home system or appliance that breaks or malfunctions are taken cared by the company.
o Home warranty company calls a qualified service provider to cater to the problem covered by the policy.
o The service provider fixes the problem of the policy owner and if an appliance seized to work or functions and is beyond repair, the company pays for the replacement and installation of the appliance. It is important to note that replacement of appliances depends on the policy bought by the home owner.
It is an indispensable tool you can always access especially during hassles inside the house. It is important to ensure that your home systems are functioning well in order to conveniently do your daily chores and activities in the house without worries and delay. With the right warranty company to provide you with your personal and distinct needs, you are sure that you are protected from the maintenance anxieties and financial losses due to your house repair and appliance malfunctions.…

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House Improvements

5 Ways To Refresh Your Home On A Budget: Buy Laminate Flooring And More

Day in and day out, your home serves as sanctuary, pit stop, storage facility, and entertainment venue. It can also get stale, outdated, and even threaten your health. Drapes, pillows, upholstery, and carpets can harbor dirt, dust, grime, and insects that cause respiratory and other health-related problems. These textiles can also cause bad odors to persist. Refreshing your home, both literally and figuratively, is easier and more affordable today than ever before with cheap Pergo laminate flooring, inexpensive accent pieces, live plants, a few buckets of paint, or some new curtains. Each of these redecorating activities can be done by the homeowner with a minimal investment of time and money.
Instead of hiring contractors and disrupting your home and bank account, refresh the appearance and improve the healthfulness of your home by replacing old window treatments, adding new accent pieces, or buy laminate flooring. Painting walls and replacing cabinet hardware can also result in an affordable, do-it-yourself home improvement project with lasting benefits.
Give Hardware A Hand
Cabinet hardware is easy to replace, affordable, and there are many styles from which to choose. Your kitchen and bathroom cabinets can go from dreary and damaged to smooth and elegant with just a few turns of a screwdriver. For a bigger effect, the faces of the cabinets, drawers, and doors can be refinished or painted at the same time. Very often, stripping off old paint reveals beautiful natural wood grain that has been well preserved and looks lovely with nothing more than an application of sealant!
Strike A Pose
The artwork and accent pieces found in a room can completely alter its personality. Throw pillows, live plants, statuary, and art can turn a chaotic mess into a stylish showplace without breaking the budget. Family photographs in simple frames, layers of colored stones in a glass vase, or a living aquarium can provide affordable renovations to the look and feel of practically any room in the house.
Coat With Color
Painting the walls of a room is an inexpensive way of changing the decor and creating a completely different atmosphere. Painting does, however, require an understanding of the risks of lead found in old paint. Keeping safety issues in mind, the colors selected can generate any mood or style the homeowner chooses.
Window Wonders
Homeowners can also redecorate a room affordably with window treatments, such as drapery, shades, sheers, and blinds, just to name a few. There are many online sources available that offer a wide range of window treatments, allowing homeowners to select or create their very own style using materials that suit the interior decor of their liking.
Build A Solid Foundation
A home’s foundation is its primary source of strength and stability. In the same way, flooring protects us from the outside world, it provides a smooth surface for feet and furniture, and it sets the tone for the style of the room. Flooring also plays a major role in a family’s health. Ratty, old carpeting can harbor dust mites, grime, and other respiratory pathogens, as well as undesirable odors. Replacing old carpet or linoleum with cheap Pergo laminate flooring is both affordable and attractive, and it provides a more healthful environment.
Homeowners can buy laminate flooring from many different outlets, but the process is made faster, easier, and more affordable by using a reputable online supplier that offers live, expert assistance, online interactive tools, how-to videos, a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and dozens of free samples to compare in the convenience of your home. When you buy laminate flooring, you want to be sure the color is exactly right and not some pixilated approximation. You can buy laminate flooring that will allow you to create the look and feel you desire for each and every room. Cheap Pergo comes in every wood tone imaginable and is surprisingly easy to install with only a handful of common tools.
Your home can look and feel fresh and new when you buy laminate flooring, change a few accent pieces, and add some nice window treatments. Some new cabinet hardware and a coat of paint are viable and affordable options to consider when you realize that your home sweet home no longer looks, feels, or smells as sweet as it once did. Cheap Pergo laminate flooring, a few trinkets from the local arts and crafts show, and a little effort can transform even the most worn down and bedraggled home decor into a stylish, healthy, and pleasant environment you are sure to enjoy for many years to come.…

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Kitchen Renovation

Repairing Gouges in Terrazzo or Polished Concrete Floors

There are a few tips and tricks that you can follow in order to repair any minor marks or gouges in your polished concrete or terrazzo floors.
Cracks in flooring:
There are a few methods depending on the size of the crack in your polished concrete. If you have a pneumatic needle scaler for cleaning up small cracks with a little dust it can be beneficial to help repairing cracks in your polished concrete floors. Another method is with your own do it yourself “sand” formula.
For small cracks
A� aluminum oxide
A� local fine washed river sand
For larger cracks
1/3 aluminum oxide
1/3 local river sand
1/3 local fracture rock
Gouges:
Repairing gouges in your concrete flooring is really pretty easy. However you want to make sure the old concrete bonds to the new concrete or your repair could last you less than a year. There are a few necessary steps to follow in order to repair gouged concrete flooring.
Make sure you clean out the noticeable gouge. This means you will want to remove all the dust, stones, and dirt. You will need to do a good portion of this by hand. Once you have the larger stuff out you can use a bristle brush to clear out the remaining.
Mix up concrete paint. This is really considered to be watered down concrete. Mix a tiny portion of concrete in a 5 gallon bucket. Usually you will keep adding in water until it is very thin.
Make sure the surface is lightly damp. Paint the inner portion of the gouge and the area that is located around it with water. Just get it damp, don’t try to soak it.
Paint the inside of the gouge and around the outer edge with the concrete paint. This will create something for it to attach to.
Mix up your concrete using the 5 gallon bucket. You will want to add in water and stir it up.
Fill in the gouge with the concrete. The concrete mix will stick onto the concrete paint which creates a firm seal between the new and old. Spread it evenly with the original concrete.
You can see that the entire process of repairing gouges within polished concrete is really fairly easy and can be done with a few ingredients and tools. Polished concrete flooring is really beneficial all around, and requires little to no upkeep.…

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Kitchen Remodel

How Does Laminate Flooring Stack Up Against Real Wood?

There are both advantages and disadvantages when comparing laminate flooring with hardwood flooring. Both of these materials are excellent for any home, however they are also very different. First, let’s examine wood floors and why you might want them in your home. Wood floors are classic, traditional, beautiful and with the right maintenance, can last a lifetime. The problem is that wood flooring requires buffing and refinishing to maintain its beauty.
On the other hand, laminate flooring does not require this kind of maintenance. And, when compared with how difficult it is to install wood floors, laminate definitely comes out on top. The majority of laminate floor choices can be snapped together like puzzle pieces, without the need for glue or nails. Even if you’re not handy with tools you can lay one of these floors in a matter of hours. And, you can walk on your new floors immediately after they are put down, you don’t have to wait. These floors are durable, and are coated with space age crystal clear finishes for strength and shine.
You’ll be amazed at how authentic these floors appear when made to look like wood, stone and other flooring materials. Some laminate is textured and even sounds like the actual material it looks like when walked upon. And with a good installation job, no one but you will realize your floor is laminate, it might for example look identical to exotic teak or sophisticated mahogany.
There are just so many different choices. Whether you like wood, stone, cork, bamboo or some other material, your floor can look exactly as you like. Many flooring choices are made to appear seamless. Some are tiles, some are strips and some are planks. What you should choose depends upon your particular household needs.
Laminate flooring is easy to clean and care for. All it requires is a sweep and damp mop. There are affordable cleaning products made for this type of material. Another benefit is the vast selection you’ll find when shopping around for this type of floor. There are hundreds of different laminate flooring choices from numerous manufacturers, many of which are household names.…

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Home Maintenance

Wood Flooring – Types and Caring For Your Floor

Wood flooring has continued to be the most popular choice of flooring for a house. This is because it gives a feeling of warmth and adds value to ones home. There is a wide range of wood flooring options available for you to choose from.
You may use wood in almost all parts of your home except for the kitchen and bathroom where wood is not advisable to use due to moisture retention. If you are searching for the type of wood that you will use, you should consider the overall decor and theme of your home.
Choices in Wood Flooring
The most common choice of wood flooring is the hardwood. Some popular hardwood choices are hickory, oak, maple, cherry, Bella wood, and walnut. They come in different colors and shades. Cherry and walnut do not need to be applied with artificial colors as they have natural rich tone.
After you have chosen which type of wood you will use, you have to decide on the floor finish that you will apply. You may opt to buy pre-finished wood with clear coating as protection. Purchasing pre-finished may require you a huge budget but you will definitely save a lot of time and effort.
If you do not want to buy pre-finished, you may choose to do the finishing yourself. After installing the floor, you need to apply urethane as protective coating. You may need to apply several coats of urethane for a more durable floor. After every coat, you should sand the floor for a smoother surface. It takes several days for this process to complete.
Another option that you may consider is distressed or reclaimed flooring. Though this type of floor does not have smooth feel, it is naturally beautiful and has a unique character. One advantage of this type is that scratches do not easily manifest unlike in urethane flooring.
Aside from the traditional flooring choices, another option is laminate flooring. It looks like real hardwood and can be bought at cheaper price. Armstrong Flooring is one company that offers laminates of high quality. Bamboo and cork flooring are also other options.
Proper Care of Wood Flooring
Whatever type of flooring you choose to have in your home, you can make your wood flooring durable and last longer by giving it the proper care and maintenance. Below are some care tips for a long lasting wood floor.
1. Remove dirt and dust by regularly sweeping or vacuuming the floor. Do not let your floor accumulate dirt and dust as this may cause scratches on the floor.
2. Put mats at the entrance doors to minimize dirt from entering your house.
3. Gently clean the floor with mop when needed. Use a nearly dry mop instead of wet one. Water may be retained in the floor causing it to wear out over time. Molds may also grow in between the slats of the wood, which will eventually damage your floor.…